THE GREAT EASTERN- 15TH OF OCTOBER, 2012

Today at 10am we had our first Group Tutorial with our tutor, Jake. All three Group 2 groups attended this tutorial together. We began to discuss what we had initially found out about the site since we visited it. I spoke about the research I had found so far and also learned from other students information which I had not found. I found the group tutorial to be very informative and thought provoking. We then discussed  the building on a more emotional level. I felt that the building itself portrayed the idea of ‘Lost’ as most of the actual structure was lost during renovation and only the Victorian façade remained, but I also felt there was a more emotional sense of loss, in terms of the men who once lived here losing a place to stay. We also discussed how the building, before it was a homeless shelter, was a hotel for working men to stay in. The tutor also mentioned how other artist’s had used the building to display and make art works in. I found this to be rather interesting and I noted this down to further research.

The group tutorial left me feeling like again, I wanted to find out more about the building and how other people who remembered it as a homeless shelter and also a hotel, felt about it.

After the tutorial with all 3 groups and our tutor, my group discussed alone how we all felt about the building and what aspects of it interested us. We decided to go away, each with a different area of information about the building and find out more about this area. I have to look deeper into the artists who had exhibited here and the works they created so tonight, I plan on finding as much information as possible about the artists and also any general additional information regarding the site which may provide us with ideas to respond to in some way.

THE GREAT EASTERN- 14TH OF OCTOBER, 2012

After our site visit to The Great Eastern Hotel on Wednesday, I had been thinking about the lectures I had attended in the GFT, prior to our site visit, and the ideas the lecturers had brought about the theme of ‘Lost.’ I found the lecturers ideas of different types of loss to be extremely engaging and thought provoking. The loss of industry in Glasgow is something which featured heavily across the different lectures and this is something which has been lost but in a literal sense. The lectures also inspired me to think in a less literal way to loss and to more emotional and symbolic ideas of this.

I began to research into the history of The Great Eastern to find any elements of it’s past life which could relate to this theme of ‘Lost.’ From the lecture I had written down a website that was suggested we used. This website turned out to be very useful, it was: http://www.hiddenglasgow.com/GreatEastern/index.htm.
This website provided a lot of information on the building’s past life before it became the homeless shelter. From this, I learned the building was originally built as a cotton spinning mill but was then converted into a hostel for working men in 1907. The building’s structure and design was also of great importance as it was designed by renowned Glasgow Architects Charles Wilson and J Alexander. The building’s structure was said to have been constructed in a pioneering way with it’s use of concrete and has the oldest known in-situ corrugated iron within its structure. The building was also said to be fireproof, which I found to be very interesting as, with more researching, I found out that when the building was being renovated into flats the roof collapsed due to fire damage.

I went back to the site today to have a further look around and take some photographs of the surrounding area to initiate thoughts about the community around the building.

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Photograph I took of the residential areas across the road from The Great Eastern.

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Photograph I took of the new high rise flats being built across the street from The Great Eastern to help regenerate the area.

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A new car park has been built in the area and this is a photograph I captured, showing the new structure next to an older building which neighbours The Great Eastern.

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The Great Eastern on Duke Street, showing the great length of road the building sits on and it’s grand Victorian facade.

THE GREAT EASTERN- 10TH OF OCTOBER, 2012

As part of my first year at Glasgow School of Art, all students in first year are required to take part in a Cross School Project. This brings together students from across different courses at the art school and requires them to create a piece of work based on the brief given. The title of the course is ‘Lost’ and along with a site in Glasgow given to each group by their designated tutor, each group must create a piece of work conveying the idea of loss. As well as the studio based work, each individual student is required to keep a reflective journal to document and reflect on the process. This is my on line journal.

A photograph I captured of The Great Eastern showing it’s great length and many windows dotted along it’s infrastructure.

On the 10th of October we visited the site we were given to base our Cross School Project on. The site chosen for my group 2A and also group 2 B and C was The Great Eastern, 100 Duke St in Glasgow.

We visited the sight early afternoon. As we walked to the site many of the areas leading to the building were run down. There were empty shops and boarded up houses. As we got closer to the site, however, the areas surrounding the site were under redevelopment. A new car park had been built down the street and many high rise modern flats were being erected in the area.

We reached the front of The Great Eastern. I was firstly struck by the size of the building. It was extremely wide and the entire front was dotted with many windows spanning over about 5 floors. Having looked at the building on line before our visit I had not realised the great size of it. My opinion of the building was altered, as when standing underneath looking up at the building, it has a grand and powerful presence and you almost feel engulfed by it’s power, which I had not thought of before visiting the site. The building’s exterior seemed very grand and historical. Our tutor then informed us that the building used to be a homeless shelter for men and was then closed down and now had been renovated, much like the rest of the area and a lot of other historical buildings in Glasgow, and made into flats.

My first reaction to this, was an extreme desire to explore inside the building. This, however, was not possible. The building, as it is now flats, has a gated entrance and a completely different layout than when it was used as a homeless shelter.
After exploring around the area and having a look around the back of the building I realised that only the original façade of the building still existed and the rest had been rebuilt.

My group and I decided after having a look around the site, that we would go away and research the building and it’s history as much as possible before our first tutorial on Monday the 15th of October. I felt that I wanted to know more about the building and I was eager to find out about it’s past life, what it was used for prior to being a homeless shelter and people’s opinions of it.